St. Peter's Basilica
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St. Peter's Basilica: Tours & Tickets

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The Majestic Architecture of St. Peter's Basilica

The world-famous St. Peter's Basilica took 120 years to complete and involved some of the most talented architects of its time. It's arguably the greatest achievement of late-Renaissance architecture – here are five highlights amongst its countless marvels.

St. Peter's Square

St. Peter's Square

The magnificent entrance to the Basilica consists of a gigantic square, featuring a 25-meter obelisk at the center, encircled by colossal Tuscan colonnades four columns deep.

The Facade

The Facade

The Basilica's facade, designed by Baroque architect Maderno, is 114 meters wide and 45 meters tall. Built entirely from travertine stone, it's quite simply breathtaking.

The Nave

The Nave

The opulent interiors, including Maderno's lavishly-decorated nave, are so immense that it can be hard to judge the building's proportions.

The Dome

The Dome

At 136 meters, Michelangelo's famous dome is the tallest dome in the world. It stands proud in Rome's skyline and offers a staggering panorama of the city.

Vatican Grottoes

Vatican Grottoes

Below the Basilica, there's a large network of tunnels housing the Vatican Grottoes. Many popes are buried here, including John Paul II and the first ever pope, St. Peter himself.

Our insider tips

Mind the Dress Code

As a Catholic building, appropriate clothing is required to enter St. Peter's Basilica. Regardless of the high temperatures in Rome during the summer, shorts, bare shoulders and miniskirts are not allowed – the dress code is strictly enforced.

Arrive Early to Avoid the Lines

The queues to enter St. Peter's Basilica can get extremely long. It's therefore a good idea to arrive early, especially at the height of summer when temperatures can be sweltering. From April to September, the basilica's opening hours are from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM, while from October to March, the basilica is open from 7:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Note that most mornings, the queues are already snaking around the square by 11:00 AM.

See the Pope

Every Wednesday, the Pope holds a public audience on St. Peter’s Square, and in the Audience Hall during winter. The audience starts at 10:30 AM, but most visitors arrive earlier to score a good seat. Security opens between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    7:00 AM - 6:30 PM daily.
  • Is it expensive?
    Ticket prices vary depending on group size.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Recommended!
  • How to get there
    Buses 64, 60, and 40 will get you to the Vatican City. Alternatively, take the red metro line to Cipro station.
  • Additional information

    • Bring a covering for your shoulders, and do not wear shorts or short skirts.

    • Use sunscreen and bring water for when you are waiting in line outside.

What people are saying about St. Peter's Basilica

PLEASE, FOR THIS TOUR WITH ENGLISH GUIDE, LOOK FOR PASQUALE. FABULOUS

HAVING PASQUALE AS A GUIDE MADE THE LOOONG TOUR VERY PLEASANT; HE WAS EXTREMELY WELL PREPARED AND VERY FUNNY, HE IS VERY GOOD AT MAKING YOU EVEN MORE INTERESTED ABOUT THE PLACE AND SPEAKS ABOUT IT IN SUCH A WAY , THAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS ONE WORD ; EXCELLENT !!! WILL DEFINITELY RECOMMEND TO ALL MY FRIENDS

Silvia shared her knowledge and passion about the breathtaking sites!

Grazie mille Silvia for the great tour of the Vatican and its amazing museum. You kept us informed and interested for the full lenght of the trip.

Fabio was a great, friendly and knowledgeable guide !

I definitely recommend the tour: good communication with the operator, Fabio our guide was great, friendly and gave us some really good insights. I took this tour in early Dec low season so there were no long lines.

Rome: Vatican City and Sistine Chapel Guided Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 04/12/2018

Great guide SIMONA! Thank you very much!

It was Wonderful for children with guide- Simona! Excellent tour , the best my children can get!

An absolute must if visiting St Peter's Basilica!

This is an amazing tour! I highly recommend it. It's amazing to think you are standing on a path that has been there for almost 2,000 years! An archaeologists dream!

Necropolis and St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour Reviewed by DeAnna, 28/11/2018

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